Johnny America


Oliv­er Not Call­ing (par­tial scene)


Oliv­er rec­og­nizes the blue and sil­ver Bell At­lantic booth a mo­ment af­ter he hur­ries past. He turns mid-step, puts his right hand on the re­ceiv­er and slings the ny­lon tuxe­do bag over his shoul­der with his left. He holds the hang­er in the crook of his in­dex fin­ger. Oliv­er pulls the last cig­a­rette from the crum­pled soft-pack in his shirt pock­et, places it be­tween his lips, and re­news his grip on the tele­phone. He stands im­mo­bile and no­tices the au­to­nom­ic ad­just­ment of the pedes­tri­ans ebbing past his now-fixed po­si­tion. “I won’t do it, I won’t call her,” he mut­ters, loos­en­ing his hold on the receiver.

Oliv­er takes the cig­a­rette from his mouth and ex­am­ines it. He sees the mois­ture from his mouth has be­gun seep in­to the fil­ter. He pulls away from the phone and re­joins the quick­en­ing mass, toss­ing the jet­sam cigarette.

Filed under Fiction on August 4th, 2003

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